Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2014 Reading List

January

Never Go Back - Lee Child
Starting the year off right with a new Reacher novel. What more could I want.

Cruel Intent - JA Jance
An Ali Reynolds tale - my first.  Seemed like a little more action and maybe a little more of an edge than her other pieces.  Good stuff.

Shock Wave - John Sandford
Rough Country - John Sandford

My first Virgil Flowers novels, I like him as a character.  What I found interesting is the infusion of religion in these books which, to me, doesn't really show up at all in the Davenport books.  It isn't overwhelming by any stretch but does play a role in Virgil's day.  Maybe it is a bigger deal since I actually noticed it/


February


Taking the Fifth - JA Jance
Trial by Fury - JA Jance
Justice Denied - JA Jance

March

Red Mist - Patricia Cornwell

First Cornwell book. Ehh.  Spoiler alert, it was an unknown twin.  Really?  Seems a little soap opera-esque in the plot twist.  I thought it took a long time for this story to get going.  I only finished it because I'd already invested so much time.

11th Hour - James Patterson
Meh.  A little too paint by number for me.

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
As advertised, a really great read.  Don't know if I've ever read a story with a more frustrating ending.  Not to say the ending was disappointing and a let down of the book, but just frustrating from a character stand point.

Drop Shot - Harlan Coben
Coben, probably more than any other author, surprises me the most.  Nice twists but nothing too hokey.

April

Chosen Prey - John Sandford

Hidden Prey - John Sandford

Left For Dead - JA Jance

May

Dead Wrong - JA Jance
Heat Lightning - John Sandford
A lot of times when I read books I try to picture a current actor that could play the book character.  I think I have settled on .  Maybe it is because I watched Mud not that long ago and the physical descriptions matched. 
The Martian - Any Weir
Christy got this from the library on my behalf and after about thirty pages I was hooked.  Somewhat technical and nerdy at times, but a good read. The last fifteen pages or so were quite good, I read those faster than the others.  I'd recommend it.  If you are adverse to crude language then it might not be for you though.

Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
Recommended by both Ainsley and Christy.  It was good enough, probably not something I would have read on my own, but good enough to finish.

The Hard Way - Lee Child
Classic Reacher.

June

The Persuader - Lee Child
Mad River - John Sandford
Storm Front - John Sandford
As I've set before, the Flowers novels are a little more bent towards religion, this book seals that feeling in for me.  It took slightly too long to get to the end, but overall good.
Silken Prey - John Sandford

July

Judgement Call - JA Jance
The Brady series is about 95% as good as the JP Beaumont series. The missing 5% is the edge JP gets for being from Seattle.  Home town rules.
Cross My Heart - James Patterson
This is the best Patterson I've read, which I'll admit isn't a whole bunch, but this is a good one.
Missing You - Harlan Coben
Coben once again finds a way to make the last two or three pages stunning.  Once you think everything has been revealed you're hit with another blow.  He's so good at his craft.  I'd love to be around during his writing process and see exactly how tales like this are crafted.
Nine Inches - Tom Perrotta
Didn't read all of the short stories provided here, but they weren't bad.  I know that they were short stories but they still felt a little incomplete and the endings were a little rushed.
The System - I learned a few things here, 1) I really wish I had been an elite athlete in college (or any time for that matter).  Sounds like college life is pretty good for these guys.  There is a lot of bad stuff behind the scenes though.  This book, ultimately, was depressing.  Didn't bother finishing it, after cherry picking some of the chapters I am not sure there is anything positive to take away.

August

Queen of the Night - JA Jance
This is the first book by Jance that I didn't really enjoy.  I couldn't get into it at all, predictable and a little discombobulated in its delivery.  I won't complain too much since I've ready so many others by her that have been winners.
The Enemy - Lee Child
Another story from his days in the army.  His raise and fall in the army has been mentioned in other books, cool to read some of the background on this one.  Not the best overall Reacher novel, but probably one of the faster paced ones.
Sugar Pop Moon -John Florio
Bad Blood - John Sandford
There are certain story lines that, as a parent, just don't sit well anymore.  I am sure fourteen years ago I wouldn't have though twice and cared that much, but child sex abuse, kidnapping and the like are things that I just don't want in my head.  Lame...maybe, but I just don't need to think about that stuff.  That said, it is a decent book.  The story wasn't a surprise and probably isn't the best piece of work.

September

The Bourne Ascendency - Eric Van Lustbader
Of all the Lustbader Bourne novels this one was probably my favorite.  He writes pretty dense novels, lots of related story lines and lots of characters.  I thought that it was easier to keep it all together this time, more than some of the others.

Invisible Prey - John Sanford

October

Field of Prey - John Sandord
I don't know what to think, the story's good, typical Davenport novel.  But it seems to me that Sandfords novels are getting more graphic and more violent as he goes along. The last couple of books I've read, including Bad Blood and Field of Prey are a little much, maybe it's me.  But child sex, excessive rape and killing.  It is getting to be a little too much.

Personal - Lee Child
At this point there aren't many surprises in these novels, you know what you are going to get.  This isn't a knock really, still good.

Sharp Objects -  Gillian Flynn
Not too bad, compared to Gone Girl and can see that this book came first.

November

The Burning Room - Michael Connely
Dark Places - Gillian Flynn
You can see the evolution of her writing style and their are components here that make their way into Gone Girl.  The different character perspectives, changing of time from past to present.  The story though is just a little too much.  It feel almost like she was trying to prove a point, that women can write dark, heavy material like men.  It was just a little too much.

December

Web of Evil - JA Jance
Part of the problem I have is that I don't read books/series in sequence.  I read whatever I can get at the time.  In this case I knew a fair amount of what was going to happen in this story based on other books I'd already read.  But it was still a good read and I still wanted to continue to read it, I think that is a statement on the quality of material Jance produces.
And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
Ainsley read this as part of her book club, her first real suspense/mystery type book.  I haven't read anything Christie before so when Ainsley suggested that I read it, thinking I would like it, I thought it was good opportunity to maybe find a new author.  One thing that sticks out right away is the difference in the language, part of it is geographical (England) and part of it is temporal (originally produced in the 30's).  For me it makes it slightly harder to read, but a good story nonetheless.
Deadline - John Sandford
It might be that the Virgil novels are better than Davenport.  At least, for me, the investigation seems a little more complex.




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